Rockport Public Works Director Mike Donoho reported changes in the way the city’s Building and Development Department is charging for permits in the wake of legislation (HB 852). That law was recently passed, and was immediately effective upon adoption, with no grace period.

Donoho explained, at the Rockport City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday, June 11, how the city is dealing with the new law.

The new state law does not allow a municipality to consider the value of the dwelling or the cost of construction for improving the dwelling when determining the cost of a permit, which is the way most municipalities determined permit fees.

“All municipalities across the state are having to scramble to develop alternative fee schedules that comply with the Legislature’s mandate,” said Donoho.

He said after consulting with the city attorney and chief building official, the staff determined the International Code Council’s (ICC) Building Code, including its square foot methodology for determining fees, is the city’s adopted code and its tables are the most appropriate and immediate method to use.

City Manager Kevin Carruth directed the staff to begin using the ICC as an interim measure.

It is the same method used by Bureau Veritas, the city’s third-party inspection service.

The financial impact of the change can’t be determined until the council adopts a final methodology to be used for determining permit fees.

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